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Moving to the area and doing what you already do might be a good first step; you would be halfway there. Once there you can start to make connections. Aquariums do hire from their volunteer base. There are very active SCUBA clubs in the area.
What do you want out of 'working with octopuses'? If you are looking for a career and money to live on this is probably not a great direction to go. Academia is hard, Public Aquariums often end up being a slave to the system kind of job once the shine has worn off, so I would be with James on this one. If you love octopus and want to be around them in a more professional setting, I would see about volunteering with them at a public aquarium or keeping them at home. This isn't to say that working at a PA doesn't offer some great experiences and knowledge, but the move across the country and start a new career part makes me nervous. If you really want that job in a PA, volunteering at a PA before you move is a good way to go...then you can also talk to the aquarists and get a good idea about the realities of work life at their facility.